A-Rod’s deal to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves is about to get tested


Last month, Alex Rodriguez struck a deal to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now comes the difficult half.

The former Yankees slugger’s $1.5 billion settlement to buy the NBA franchise — signed along with his business companion, the e-commerce tycoon Marc Lore — might get a bumpy journey this week as one in every of workforce’s minority house owners has sued to delay the closing of the deal.

A court-ordered suspension at a listening to slated for Monday — seen by some insiders as doubtless — wouldn’t essentially kill A-Rod’s bid to lastly change into knowledgeable sports activities workforce proprietor. The deal is coming to a head lower than a year after he lost a bid to buy the New York Mets to hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen.

Nevertheless, sources say any delay would solely add uncertainty to talks that already are riddled with dangers.

Alex Rodriguez has lengthy dreamed of proudly owning knowledgeable sports activities workforce.

Among the question marks is A-Rod himself, who was noticed in Miami late final month “pow-wowing” with Lore and a few Timberwolves execs at a Coral Gables hotspot, according to Page Six. A supply insisted the ex-MLB star — who at the time was weathering headlines about his ex Jennifer Lopez’s reunion with former flame Ben Affleck — was targeted on “his kids, baseball, and business.”

Still, some insiders are scratching their heads over the phrases of the buy, which name for A-Rod and Lore taking an preliminary stake of simply 20 p.c, plunking down some $300 million with an choice to buy the remainder of the workforce inside 18 months. That’s properly in need of the preliminary money trove of practically $2 billion that A-Rod, Lore and a cadre of buyers had reportedly amassed for his or her Mets bid.

Indeed, sources shut to the state of affairs stated that whereas A-Rod and Lore could make the preliminary cost, they’re nonetheless scrambling to increase the $1.5 billion they want to shut the deal, and aren’t but shut to that quantity.

A-Rod and business companion Marc Lore are scrambling to increase the $1.5 billion they want to shut the deal, sources say.

Some have questioned whether or not a scarcity of funds from J-Lo — whose estimated internet price of $450 million eclipses A-Rod’s $350 million — creates a headwind for the buy, which additionally consists of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. Lore, who a supply shut to the bidding bloc says is an “equal partner” with A-Rod, has a fortune pegged at $4 billion.

Either method, the comparatively skimpy, 20-percent preliminary cost has created a extra instant drawback — specifically, that the workforce’s present house owners are tussling over it.

On Monday — simply two days earlier than the sale will change into eligible for approval by the NBA — Minnesota state decide Eric Tostrud is slated to rule on a request for an injunction to delay it from Meyer Orbach, a New Jersey actual property mogul who owns 17 p.c of the workforce.

Orbach gripes that the workforce’s proprietor Glen Taylor — an 80-year-old printing magnate who additionally owns the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper — refuses to share any proceeds from the down cost. At a June 11 listening to, Orbach demanded that Taylor put it into escrow.

Present workforce proprietor Glen Taylor is being sued for allegedly short-changing buyers at his company Envoy Medical Corp.

“Taylor admitted to me that he is selling his interests in the Timberwolves and Lynx because he again is in need of cash,” Meyer stated in a June 11 declaration. “Taylor needs the money. Thus, the proposed transaction is structured and intended to provide Taylor with liquidity.”

Orbach stated he tried for greater than a year to assist Taylor discover an investor — together with one who was keen to pay greater than $100 million for a piece of the workforce — however that the pair “could not agree on terms.”

Last summer season, sources stated Taylor started talks to promote the workforce for $1.5 billion to Daniel E. Straus, a former minority proprietor of the Memphis Grizzlies. Despite an settlement getting accredited by the NBA, the talks fell aside in February after Taylor tried to renegotiate the worth, in accordance to a supply shut to the state of affairs.

A-Rod and Jennifer Lopez, who reportedly has a fortune $100 million higher than his, are not a workforce.
Getty Images for Global Citizen

Reps for Taylor and Straus declined to remark.

Around the similar time, Timberwolves Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett had been tweeting about his personal curiosity in shopping for the workforce.

Nonetheless, Taylor by no means invited Garnett to bid, and claimed publicly in March that Garnett by no means approached him.

That was practically a year after Garnett claimed Taylor had damaged a promise to permit Garnett to be part of an possession group that will succeed Taylor. At the time, Garnett stated he was fed up making an attempt to deal with Taylor, including, “I don’t do business with snake motherf–kers.”

Heightening the chaos additional, Taylor is in the meantime being sued in Minnesota state courtroom by plaintiffs that embody former NBA nice Kevin McHale for allegedly short-changing buyers at his company Envoy Medical Corp.

In response to the swimsuit, which is demanding lots of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in damages, Taylor has countersued a few of the plaintiffs, alleging defamation and retaliation by a former CEO of the company who was fired in 2012.

Taylor purchased the Timberwolves and the Lynx in 1994 for $94 million. Since then, sources say the franchise has struggled financially and on the courtroom, shedding money most seasons and reaching the playoffs solely as soon as throughout the previous 18 years.

Some house owners, in the meantime, are upset that the Timberwolves, regardless of commanding one in every of the league’s main markets, gather roughly $20 million in annual revenue-sharing funds from the extra worthwhile groups, one supply shut to the NBA stated.

Reps for A-Rod and Lore, who in accordance to the contract can stroll away from the deal if it isn’t consummated by July 31, declined to remark.


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